Dunwoody’s Spruill Center for the Arts has chosen its first mural design as part of its plan to make aesthetic improvements to the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center. 

At a March 17 Dunwoody Art Commission meeting, the commission approved the implementation of “Daydreaming,” a mural from artist Diana Toma, who is also an instructor at the Spruill Center. The mural would be placed on a 9-by-24-foot wall at the entrance to the organization’s center at 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. 

A rendering of “Daydreaming” by artist Diana Toma, superimposed on a wall outside the entrance of Spruill Center for the Arts.

At a Feb. 8 meeting, the Dunwoody Public Facilities Authority, which is made up of members of the Dunwoody City Council, approved the Spruill Center’s plan to make visual enhancements to the building. As the property owner, the Public Facilities Authority had to approve any alterations to the structure. 

Spruill Center CEO Alan Mothner said the mural is the first of many visual enhancements the organization plans on making to the center. Those proposed changes include placing sculptures in the grassy area in front of the building and painting murals on different parts of the property. 

“This is one piece of several that we have in the pipeline to beautify and make Spruill Center for the Arts look like a true community arts center,” Mothner said. “And to give it that curb appeal that it’s so lacking currently.” 

The Art Commission expressed excitement for the upcoming changes, and discussed the possibility of implementing lighting around the pieces so they were easily viewable at night. There was also discussion of using this mural and future designs on Spruill Center publications, invitations, and the like as a branding opportunity. 

“We do have a separate contract with the artist … if we would like to work together to sell prints or to sell versions of this,” Mothner said. “It is her art, but because our gallery is so well known and representative, we are more than happy to sell her work and iterations of this with her approval through the gallery.”

Mothner said all the artists who work on the Spruill Center’s aesthetic updates will be compensated. The Spruill Center Board of Directors has budgeted $40,000 in 2021 for improvements to the center.

Aesthetic changes will be subject to approval of both the Art Commission and the City Council. Mothner said he hopes to bring the design before the council at an April meeting. 

Writer and Journalist Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.